October 5, 2016
The Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons' dedication ceremony will be held on October 14
Manchester, N.H. - Southern New Hampshire University's (SNHU) Library Learning Commons will be named the Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons, in honor of SNHU alumnus and Trustee, Edward Wolak '74.
Wolak, an active member of the Board of Trustees since 2012, joined the Board to pursue his passion for making college accessible to students in need.
"I have a genuine appreciation for the quality education that I received from SNHU, which prepared me for a successful business career," said Wolak. "Now as a Trustee, I have the opportunity to help other students achieve their dreams. The Library Learning Commons is central to that purpose, and it's exciting to know that in some small way, I'm influencing and contributing to our students' continued success."
Wolak, president and CEO of the Wolak Group and owner of more than 95 Dunkin' Donuts franchises in Maine, New Hampshire and upstate New York, paid his way through college by baking for Dunkin' Donuts franchises in the area. Today, he oversees approximately 40 business entities related to his Dunkin' Donuts franchises, including companies that develop and own the real estate that his stores occupy, and 1,800 employees.
"Ed is a vital member of our SNHU community, and our Board, who has achieved extraordinary success throughout his life," said Paul LeBlanc, SNHU president. "As a first generation college student, his story proves that through perseverance and the power of education, anything is possible. My hope is that the Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons will act as a reminder for students that with determination, passion and grit, they can achieve great things."
The 50,000 square-foot campus facility will continue to house the Shapiro Library, the University's collection of books; an IT help desk, learning and faculty centers, silent and group study areas, instructional support, the Zachos Commons Café, a digital and 3D media production suite and the Learning Center. The building originally opened in 2014 and was designed to offer a center of learning for SNHU students on campus and online.
Each of Wolak's employees have the opportunity to pursue higher education free of charge, through his partnership with SNHU's College for America program.
"I believe that many of society's problems could be solved if more young adults could afford to leave their neighborhoods to attend college and participate in the coming-of-age experience that Southern New Hampshire University provides to its students," Wolak added.
Wolak grew up in Manchester, N.H. and earned two degrees from SNHU: an Associate of Science in Business Administration in 1972 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1974. Wolak and his wife, Debby, live in South Portland, Maine, and their daughter, Kim Garrett, is The Wolak Group's chief operation officer.
A dedication and community celebration will take place on Friday, October 14, during Homecoming Weekend, to unveil the Edward S. Wolak Library Learning Commons and honor his continued support of the University.
Southern New Hampshire University
Some wait for inspiration. Others need every detail before they begin. And some say there's always tomorrow. Whatever the excuse, chronic procrastinators are quick to find a reason not to start.
More than 2,200 guests visited campus for an action-packed line up of homecoming events Oct. 13-15, and alumni and students checked in on social media from Tennessee, Minnesota, and Italy.
SNHU unveiled its 24th mini-pitch to help in-need communities across the country. This one was built in partnership with the LA Galaxy Foundation in possibly the neediest of communities.